Marketing Key Performance Indicators
8 Critical Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking
It’s all too easy for marketers to get caught up in creative projects and lose sight of what buyers need to move forward in their journey.
Data points, called KPIs, help keep strategies on track and quantify the impact on customer experience and revenue. There are countless marketing KPIs you can measure, some more valuable than others.
For starters, it’s really about your goals. So-called “soft” metrics such as impressions, traffic, and engagement are essential for understanding how effective you are in reaching the right audience and serving them with the most relevant content. “Hard” metrics get down to the numbers, tracking things like ad spend, sales, and customer acquisition value–and typically, tend to be the most important marketing KPIs from the C-suite perspective.
In these next few sections, we’ll go over some of the metrics that help you understand how your website is performing.
1. Website Traffic
One of the best ways to gauge whether you’ve put together a successful marketing strategy is to look at your website traffic. The more traffic you bring in, the more opportunities you have to showcase information about your product or service.
- Organic traffic
- Traffic by channel
- Traffic from paid ads
- Referral traffic
- Direct traffic
It should go without saying, revenue is one of the most important marketing KPIs there is. As such, marketers must be aware of how much revenue the overall marketing strategy brings to the table, as well as how much each campaign brought in.
While this sounds like a no-brainer, the key thing to think about here is, you’ll want to continually track revenue by the campaign. After all, no business wants to throw money at strategies that fail to generate money.
If you can identify poor performers early on, you’ll be able to avoid waste and reallocate your demand generation spend to the strategies that deliver the best possible ROI.
3. Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a critical KPI for marketers because it helps them identify which segments are the most valuable to the company. This metric also helps establish a baseline for how much revenue they can expect for each relationship.
You can calculate CLV by performing the following calculation:
(Average deal size per customer) x (Average number of purchases made each year) x (Average retention length, measured in months or years)
A great way to increase CLV is to develop campaigns that span the entire customer lifecycle. In other words, you’ll want to keep marketing to your audience well after the initial deal closes.
You might focus on building campaigns around new features or advanced use cases to help existing customers get more value from your product or service.
You might also highlight resources that center around audience interests, introduce complementary products, or promote a loyalty program.
Ultimately, focusing on measuring CLV and building campaigns around improving that number will help you reduce churn and increase customer satisfaction long-term.
Cost-per-lead is a KPI that helps you understand how much it costs to bring in each new lead.
Naturally, the less you spend the better, as this means you’re stretching your marketing dollars further. This metric also indicates whether your campaign efforts are effectively setting the stage for sustainable growth.
Keep in mind, while some campaigns may appear to be more expensive, they may lead to more conversions and higher CLV rates.
You can track your cost per lead by dividing the total cost to run each campaign by the number of leads it brings in.
Make sure you establish lead gen goals early in the campaign planning stage. It helps if you record those goals in your CRM, as it’s easier to track your lead source at a granular level, especially if there are multiple campaigns running simultaneously.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you look at your targeting strategy. Casting a super wide net isn’t a great idea, as it will typically result in less engagement from your audience.
Instead, make sure that sales and marketing teams are working together to define each target segment, and from there, develop campaigns that speak to each group.
5. Time on Page
This metric is useful to marketers as it allows them to get a sense of how well they understand audience intent and the efficacy of their targeting strategy. Time on page is also a critical metric for understanding what makes audiences engage with your content, allowing marketers to create more compelling material based on “what works.”
Time on a page goes beyond the bounce rate, which refers to the percentage of people that immediately leave a webpage without taking any action. Often, visitors that “bounce” have landed on your website by mistake or you’ve failed to provide the information your audience is looking for.
Typically, mobile users bounce away from pages at a higher rate than their desktop-bound counterparts, as mobile searchers are often looking for quick answers to high intent queries. Think “gas station near me,” “pizza delivery open now,” etc. They’re not looking to dig into a long-form blog post, and as such, focusing on bounce rate alone isn’t the best measure of success.
Instead, focusing on how long people spend reading your content is a better way to ensure that you’re capturing readers’ attention. While a general rule of thumb is to aim to keep readers on the page longer than 1.5 minutes, you’ll want to review the average time against the amount of time it should take to finish reading a blog post.
For example, if you’ve written an article that takes most people five minutes to read and the average time on page is 1.5 minutes, most people are only getting about a quarter of the way through.
Clicks, traffics, and views are all well and good, but in order to understand how effective your messaging is, you’ll need to gain an understanding of what percentage of visitors took the desired action after coming into contact with your brand.
Make sure you’re tracking conversions at every opportunity to convert, including the following:
- Landing page conversion rates
- Blog post conversions
- Organic social posts
- Paid social ads
- Search ads
- Conversion rate by keyword
- Conversion rate by channel
- Conversion rate by device
7. Conversion Path
Conversions themselves are critical KPIs, but you’ll also want to track conversion paths, as they bring more context into the fold.
This metric allows you to see where your converting visitors came from, as well as which pages they viewed before making the decision to buy, download, or take some other desired action.
8. Content Attribution
Attribution is often overlooked, but it’s an important metric for tracking the impact of your content by each touchpoint–which is critical for today’s omnichannel landscape.
According to a recent post from Grow and Convert, it makes the most sense to measure content attribution using the first-click attribution, which connects conversions with the first interaction a user has with your website.
Wrapping Up on Marketing KPIs
In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all set of marketing KPIs that all marketers need to track.
Our recommendation is that all companies should focus on tracking the metrics that validate your marketing spend and ensure that you’re creating content that resonates with your target audience and drives them toward conversion and long-term loyalty.